Snowball Metrics: vision for research information management in the UK

The Snowball Metrics initiative held three workshops in different parts of the UK last week, addressing the ‘vision and challenges for research information management in the UK’. Prior to the workshops, participants were asked to identify firstly what they felt would make a significant difference to research information management in the UK today, and secondly, what is the biggest challenge that stands in the way of achieving this vision. Discussion topics included the following:

  • Interoperable data rather than integrated systems
  • Agreed business processes are needed as well as the data
  • Understanding the business need for collecting research information (institutions often collect more information than required)
  • Data quality versus quantity
  • Tensions surrounding research data use in allocating funding
  • Trust in how data may be used by other organisations
  • Identifying benefits of standardised research information/ metrics for researchers (eg discovering opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration in a large institution)
  • Persistent identifiers – eg person IDs (ORCID etc)
  • Managing definitions and vocabularies (eg agreeing definitions was the biggest challenge for the Gateway to Research)
  • CASRAI data dictionary (UK edition planned)
  • Strategic leadership in UK – BIS? (need to ensure realisation of efficiency benefits across the communities)
  • More coherence across RIM initiatives needed?
  • International perspective – eg Snowball global aims, CASRAI

A report based on input and workshop discussions is planned, to be shared with the wider community.

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The Innovation Support Centre is funded by the JISC, managed by UKOLN and hosted by the University of Bath.